Neal Casal has passed away
Very prolific and very talented musician Neal Casal has sadly passed away at age 50. The news broke on Neal's official Instagram page with a post that reads, "It’s with great sadness that we tell you our brother Neal Casal has passed away. As so many of you know, Neal was a gentle, introspective, deeply soulful human being who lived his life through artistry and kindness. His family, friends and fans will always remember him for the light that he brought to the world. Rest easy Neal, we love you."
No cause of death has been given at this time. Update: a representative for Neal told Pitchfork that he died by suicide. His body was found on Monday night (8/26).
Neal was a member of Blackfoot, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, and Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and he was also a solo artist, a member of The Skiffle Players (with Cass McCombs and others), and a collaborator of The Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Amanda Shires, Fruit Bats, and so many others. He was also the founder of Circles Around the Sun, who recorded the music that played during intermissions at the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well shows, and he had been recording a new Circles Around the Sun album last week. Just this past weekend, he played as a member of Oteil & Friends at Lockn'.
Tributes are already pouring in from fellow musicians. Shooter Jennings wrote, "I am absolutely devastated with the news of the loss of my dear friend and consistent collaborator @nealcasal - he was always my favorite picker in LA and we’d all just finished some beautiful music together. I’m really just hollowed out by this. God bless NC."
Hiss Golden Messenger wrote, "Neal Casal was among the very best at what he did and I am very sad to hear that he's gone. Thanks for making the world better for a little while, Neal." Ryan Adams posted several tributes on Twitter too.
Rest in peace, Neal. You'll be missed.
In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html